Accra, 27 March 2014 — The Director of the United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA), Dr. Elias T. Ayuk, has commended Ghana for its commitment in supporting research on natural resources management in Africa.
Dr. Ayuk praised the country when he and a Board Member of UNU-INRA, Prof. Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah, paid a courtesy call on the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, Former Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor, in Accra.
UNU-INRA Director Ayuk used the occasion to congratulate Former President Kufuor on his appointment as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. He stated that Ghana is one of the few African countries that is committed to contributing to UNU-INRA’s endowment fund through its Ministry of Education. He indicated that the fund is meant to support research on natural resources management in Africa, to inform policy formulation and implementation.
DIrector Ayuk therefore appealed to the Former President to use his new position to influence other African leaders to emulate the Ghana Government’s example by contributing to the fund to support the institute to achieve its mandate.
Dr. Ayuk also used the opportunity to reiterate UNU-INRA’s commitment to support the efforts of Ghana and other Africa countries to tackle the menaces of climate change and other natural resources related issues that are affecting development.
“We are committed to achieving our mission to empower African researchers to carry out quality studies to provide evidence-based recommendations to African leaders to improve the management of natural resources in order to alleviate poverty on the continent”, said Dr. Ayuk.
He noted that UNU-INRA’s current focus is on harnessing land and water resources, including the effects of climate change, promoting biodiversity and developing a green economy, as well as the governance and management of the extractive industries. He emphasized the institute’s readiness to continue to make research reports and policy briefs available so as to inform African leaders on the need for the judicious use of natural resources to help improve livelihoods.
On his part, Former President Kufuor applauded UNU-INRA for its contribution to improving scientific knowledge on natural resources management in Africa. He urged the institute to continue to enhance the capacity of African researchers to undertake studies on climate change and other issues that are impacting negatively on the growth of the continent.
UNU-INRA presented some of its latest research reports on climate change and related natural resources management issues to facilitate the Former President’s UN assignment. The Institute currently is the only institution of the United Nations University in Africa, set up purposely to enhance the capacity of African universities and individuals to produce scientific information to improve the sustainable use of the continent’s natural resources.